The lava flow gushing from the volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma is now threatening to wipe out an entire town.
All 1,200 residents of Todoque have joined thousands of others who have been ordered to leave their homes, as they are in the “unstoppable” path of the lava flow.
The huge wall of lava is moving to towards the town, in the municipality of Los Llanos de Aridane,at a speed of 120 metres per hour. Once it passed through the sea it is will fall into the sea.
La lengua de lava del proceso eruptivo de La Palma arrasa con todo a su paso en su camino hacia el mar. pic.twitter.com/InvtAhgtl5
— Agencia Canaria de Noticias y Audiovisuales. (@ACFIPRESS) September 20, 2021
Firefighters say they are powerless to stop it and can only hope that as few properties as possible will be swallowed up.
“The reality that we are witnessing every day that we perform our functions as firefighters on the island of La Palma is harsh and it is difficult for us to assume the impossibility of stopping what nature executes slowly,” said a Consortium spokesman. “We will continue working in such a situation with churned stomachs, hoping that the damage will be as minor as possible.”
he director of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca), Miguel Ángel Morcuende, said they didn’t know what time the lava would reach the sea later today or tomorrow but it would be slowed down because of “obstacles in its way”.
There are now more than 6,000 people displaced because of the lava flows, many of them being put up in emergency shelters and sports halls.
The lava flows from the eruption have already claimed 200 properties including homes, shops and municpal buildings.
The authorities have instructed the islands population of 85,000 people not to go to the area around the volcano and also from approaching the lava flows. They have not discounted further evacuations in case the situation worsens.
Yesterday, Tuesday 21st September the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, who has been on the island since Monday 19th September, called for “the need for the utmost precaution with a volcano that is active and that is moving unstoppably toward the sea.”